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Archive for June 2011

I’m always “in the market” for some appealing — exciting — attention-grabbing material having anything to do with home decor. Nice, therefore, to find this blog:

And the first post read was an illustration-filled THUMBS UP for a new “reality” show called MILLION DOLLAR DECORATORS. With that title, Los Angeles as a base, and old Hollywood names like Max Factor popping up, well you just know this is not budget decorating, but an all-out feast for the eyes. Click on the picture (above) to go the Material Girls’ post on the show, and some gorgeous BEFORE and AFTER photos.

Here’s the link also to the show’s own website on Bravo. Million Dollar Decorators airs Tuesdays at 10pm. If you’re Bravo-less, check out the “video” section of the site for some extracts from the series.


We at take the issue of CHILD SAFETY to heart. We’ve children and grandchildren of our own to safeguard!

So we’ve introduced a new “page” on aspects to consider when outfitting a child’s room — and don’t forget that children roam, climb and play! Every room in your home should consider similar directives:

If a cordless shade is not possible for your application (ie, size or fabric restrictions), remember the following tips:

  • “Lock” cords — give cords a tug to engage the clutch – whenever shades have been lowered, including when they come to rest on a windowsill.
  • Make sure Tassel Ends (on Standard Cord Lock and Top Down Bottom Up shades) are always out of reach, whether the window treatment is raised or lowered. (Watch our YouTube video on Tassel Ends.)
  • The Breakthrough Cord Connector (also called Equalizer Box) snaps open when pressure is applied to the cord loop should a child become entangled. This exclusive Comfortex component adds an extra measure of protection by coming apart in an emergency.
  • Wrap the pull cord around a cord cleat which is securely mounted to the wall whenever the shade is not being raised or lowered.
  • Install and use the Child Safety Cord Tensioner supplied with all Continuous Cord Loop shades; inside or outside mounts are possible.

To read more, see our Child Safety page.

Readers of this blog will perhaps have noted that I am a bibliophile, a lover of BOOKS. We all collect something … Yet it is AMAZING how books have become a Decorating Idea. Take, for instance, The Strand Bookstore (a BIG favorite to visit either in person or via mail order) in New York City:

Do you notice the BOOKS BY THE FOOT advertisement?? (You can click on the above image to go there.) Not only will The Strand “assemble” you “a great book collection,” they can also RENT you a book collection! Only in New York do you encounter some of these scenarios on a regular basis: “Strand … has every kind of book you might need to design your set, stage your model apartment, or create that perfect look for your photo shoot.”

Another site will sell books by the yard ! BOOK DECOR specializes in “designer leather-bound books”.

Just look at this GORGEOUS room (all that sumptuous wood!); it invites you to slip into that leather chair by the windows, doesn’t it?

As an aside, I see no shades on the arched windows at the back, and venetian blinds on the window at the right. BOTH will let in a tremendous amount of leather-harming UV rays, depending on which direction the windows face. Perfect example of what might be done with cellular shades! Light Diffusing fabrics would allow in light, without beating the sun’s rays on all that leather, wood, and wool (surely the carpet in this lovely room is not synthetic…).

Here’s a lovely example of what can be done with a long window topped by an arched area, when using Cellular Window Shades:

As you can see, their solution was to LEAVE the upper portion uncovered — yet you still see the “divided lights” of the window through the cellular fabric.

Anyway, we’d love to hear from other book lovers — give us photos of your fabric rooms; send us lists of your favorite books; give us your decorating challenges!

Here’s’s solutions to “Decorating with Books“; Home & Garden‘s blog features an inventive “serving cart” movable book shelf; and this couple seems to arrangement their books BY THE DUST JACKET COLOR, which gives a definitive look to the walls. A nice New York Times article on a book buyer/collector (click on the “extra photos” for more pictures) will round out our Book Nooks chat! And to save your collection, whether new or antique, from the fading effects of the sun, check out our website.

Guest blog by Michelle –  the other half of our customer care duo!

We experience 90 degree weather only a few times a year here in Vermont, but when we do, it feels like a sauna.  Yesterday, after a full day at work, sitting in the AC, I walked out the door to a wall of heat.  Most people would go home to an artificially chilled environment, but I just can’t justify the effort to install my AC for only a few days of benefit, yet.  Luckily after 1 full year with shades, I’ve learned how to prepare my home before I leave for work.   They are called “shades” for good reason!

I want to keep some air flow, but block as much sun to prevent “solar gain”.  I keep my black out cellular shades and windows in my bedroom closed.  The cats prefer it be dark anyhow. 

In the kitchen, where my windows face north and south (shaded by a pine tree), I crank open my casement windows about halfway. I then lower my shades to about where the windows angle out.  It creates a nice cross breeze, but lets in no more sun than necessary.

I have a porch that could serve as a greenhouse on a hot day.  I’ve included a photo here.  You can imagine that it’s a

Cellular Shades in my Den / Porch

Cellular Shades in my Den / Porch - keep it from feeling like a greenhouse

great space for a den area, but it can heat up fast.  In a move probably not so conventional on a potentially stormy day, I opened a couple of windows at the top and lowered my shades over them.  Surprisingly, light filtering cellular shades block enough solar heat and it lets a little air around the sides of the shade (outside mount without sidetracks) to keep the room from being incredibly stuffy.  Honestly I came about this method rather by chance.  I have a blind German Shepherd, named Hunter that likes to climb out through window screens, so I tend to open windows down from the top when I’m away. 

Shades in my living room keep it cool!

I keep the living room shade slightly open for the dog to see out, but keeping heat to a minimum.

In our living room (photo at left), I left one shade slightly raised for our seeing dog, Cali who likes to sit on the couch and watch our street. 

After a 90 degree drive home, with the windows down, I arrived home.  Pushing my way into the house past the 2 dogs, it felt about 20 degrees cooler.  I walked through the kitchen into our den area.  In an effort to let in some fresh air, my husband had opened the back door and regretted it immediately because now it was hotter than when he got home!  I was curious; we have an indoor/outdoor thermometer that I never check.  It said 80 degrees inside (and not humid), 92 degrees outside!  That is without AC!

I will admit that in an effort to simply sleep; sometime in July, in the middle of a muggy night, my husband will get up and install the AC. I can say that last year we ran it for about 2 days and confined the cold to the bedroom.   The bonus is that the shade rests nicely on my Air Conditioner for the time it is installed.

My shades continue to impress me, even as I rave about them every day to customers.  They are functional and, honestly, one of the few things I’ve done to my house in the 2 years we have lived there; as evidenced by my vintage paneling.  I urge anyone to buy a shade or shades for a room and feel the difference for yourself.  I wish I had years ago!

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